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Graduate Education at Vanderbilt

New Vision for Graduate Education

Recruiting and retaining exceptional graduate students who will go on to become leaders in their fields is the top priority for graduate education at Vanderbilt University. As a leading research university, it is critical that Vanderbilt advance graduate education in key ways to attract the best students and support them while they are here.

The Graduate Education Study Group, appointed by Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente in September 2014 and charged with laying the course for the future of graduate education at Vanderbilt, has completed its work and issued its full report. Read the report, “A New Vision for Graduate Education at Vanderbilt.”  Their work takes into account national conversations and challenges facing the disciplines. 

The Executive Summary of the GESG report was released in May 2015. Then, based on extensive input gathered from students and faculty at a series of forums during fall 2015, revisions were made and the final report generated. 

Members of the study group include:

  • Vicki Green, College of Arts and Science (Chair)
  • Rogers Hall, College of Arts and Science
  • Duco Jansen, School of Engineering
  • Paul Lim, School of Divinity
  • Hassane Mchaourab, School of Medicine
  • Ifeoma Nwankwo, College of Arts and Science
  • Jennifer Reinganum, College of Arts and Science
  • Mark Wallace, School of Medicine

During his fall 2016 faculty address, then-Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced his plans for building a $300 million endowment during the next several years. After this, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente asked the deans of the schools and colleges to develop faculty-based processes for submitting priorities for how to deploy this endowment to support excellence in graduate education and research at Vanderbilt. Input also was sought from the Graduate Faculty Council and the Graduate Student Council.

In January 2017 the ad hoc Graduate Education and Research Endowment Committee was charged with synthesizing the ideas submitted by each school and college into a set of overarching recommendations. The short report, “Investing in Graduate Education and Research: A Vision for Deploying a $300 Million Endowment,” will be submitted to the chancellor. During the fall of 2017, new cross-college working groups also will be constituted to further the evaluation, development and implementation of these recommendations.

Ad hoc committee members include:

  • Houston Baker, Distinguished University Professor and professor of English, College of Arts and Science 
  • Cindy Kam, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science, College of Arts and Science; 
  • Christopher Loss, Chancellor Faculty Fellow, associate professor of public policy and higher education, Peabody College of education and human development 
  • Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Biological Sciences and professor of biological sciences and biomedical informatics, College of Arts and Science
  • Choon-Leong Seow, Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible and Vanderbilt, Buffington, Cupples Professor of Divinity, Divinity School
  • Mark Wallace, Louise B. McGavock chair, professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences, School of Medicine; Dean, Graduate School
  • Sharon Weiss, Chancellor Faculty Fellow, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering, School of Engineering

Graduate Development Network

The Graduate Development Network (GDN), a group of academic and professional services offices that meets monthly during the academic year, operates in an advisory and coordinating capacity for student life and career development in graduate education. This group promotes communication and collaboration among the participants, as well as a sounding board for issues and concerns about student services.

Representatives are from the Graduate Student Council (GSC)Center for Student Wellbeing (CSW)Margaret Cunningim's Women’s CenterLGBTQI LifeCenter for TeachingCenter for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (VU-CIRTL)Writing StudioInternational Student and Scholar ServicesRobert Penn Warren Center for the HumanitiesEnglish Language Center; Career Development services from across campus; Graduate Life Coach Services; Diversity recruitment and retention (VU-EDGE); Vanderbilt Institutional Research GroupCollege of Arts & SciencesGraduate Department of ReligionPeabody College of Education and Human DevelopmentSchool of Engineering; and the Graduate School.